0

Can we say "What a song from what an album!"?

Context: Let's say I love a song and I love the album that song is in too. Can I say that sentence to praise that song I like along with the album? I know we can use the "What (a)" structure to praise something or somebody, but in the sentence I gave, after the word "from", "what a" sounded kind of, like, wrong to me but it also sounds kind of familiar. What do you think about it?

1

That's grammatical. You might also hear

What a song, and from what an album!

The What a ... pattern is an emphatic exclamation. It can be used for praise or criticism.

What a beautiful voice she has!

What an idiot!

-1

What a song from what an album!

This sounds wrong to me. Usually, the praising phrase "what a" wants to be at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

  • Incorrect: He gave me what a beautiful gift!
  • Correct: What a beautiful gift he gave me!

You can use "what a" after a conjunction, like this:

  • Correct: What a song, and what an album!

But this means something a little bit different, because this last sentence leaves out the information that the song is actually from the album.

An alternative way to correct the sentence would be to use "such a" instead of "what a". Unlike "what a", "such a" can be used anywhere:

  • Correct: He gave me such a beautiful gift!
  • Correct: Such a beautiful gift he gave me! (somewhat unnatural)
  • Correct: What a song from such an album!

However, this last sentence has a new problem, because "such an album" is ambiguous. The phrase "such an album" could be expressing praise or amazement for the album; but it could also merely mean "that kind of album".

In order to make the sentence unambiguous, we need to put an adjective after "such a". While we're at it, we should also put an adjective after "what a", in order to keep the two parts equal in strength. Otherwise, the "such a" phrase will feel stronger.

  • Correct: What a beautiful song from such an amazing album!
1
  • This answer has received a downvote, although I don't know why; as far as I know, it is correct and useful. – Tanner Swett Oct 10 '18 at 3:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.